BTN.com staff, October 23, 2011
BTN.com has a new staple every Saturday night. It?s called "United States Marine Corps: Leaders of the Week," and it?s a feature designed to honor some of the top Big Ten performances. For Week 8, we?re focusing on the greatest performances from all around the conference. On this day, the Big Ten had huge days across the board. Here are the honorees:
Marvin McNutt, Iowa – The star Hawkeye wide receiver caught six passes for 168 yards and three touchdowns, with the first score making him the school's all-time touchdown reception leader. McNutt, a former quarterback, entered Saturday tied atop the list with Tim Dwight and Danan Hughes, and he now has 24 career touchdown receptions.
Marcus Coker, Iowa – Coker had his second consecutive huge day, rushing for 138 yards and two scores in Iowa's easy win over Indiana. In his last two games, Coker has 262 yards and four touchdowns, matching his touchdown total through the seasons first five games.
James Vandenberg, Iowa – The third Hawkeye on the list, Vandenberg was efficient and prolific against Indiana's struggling defense. The junior quarterback completed 12 of 16 passes for 247 yards and a career-high four touchdowns, three of which went to Marvin McNutt. Vandenberg averaged 20.6 yards per completion, 15.4 yards per attempt and threw a scoring strike on 25 percent of his passes.
Adam Replogle, Indiana – In a losing effort, Replogle tallied seven tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss and two of the Hoosiers' four sacks of James Vandenberg.
Ricardo Allen, Purdue – The big-play Boiler picked off another pass, his third of the season, and added 10 tackles in Purdue's 21-14 homecoming victory over Illinois.
Kawann Short, Purdue – The Purdue defensive tackle blew up Illinois' frontline all day, registering 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks, in helping Purdue limit No. 23 Illinois to 14 points.
Kenny Bell, Nebraska – The electric freshman made the most of his one carry, taking a reverse 82 yards for a score, the longest touchdown run by a freshman in Nebraska history. Bell also added a career-high four receptions for 25 yards in Nebraska's 41-14 win at Minnesota.
Silas Redd, Penn State – Redd racked up a career-high 164 rushing yards – his fourth consecutive 100-yard game – and added a score at Northwestern. The sophomore running back, who's averaging 141.5 rushing yards per game the last four times out, went for an impressive 9.1 yards per carry.
Devon Smith, Penn State – The junior wide receiver tallied career highs in receptions (6) and yards (110), in addition to hauling in a 45-yard touchdown, to help lead the surprising Nittany Lions to a sixth straight victory.
Gerald Hodges, Penn State – Hodges had a career-day in Penn State's win at Northwestern, racking up 14 tackles and 1.5 sacks, to go along with an interception that he returned 63 yards to set up a score.
Kirk Cousins, Michigan State – Cousins had a good game going before the last-second Hail Mary, but the game-winning theatrics made it even better. The Spartan captain completed 22 of 31 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns to help Michigan State hand No. 6 Wisconsin its first loss of the season.
Keith Nichol, Michigan State- Michigan State's quarterback-turned-receiver didn't have a single reception through the first 59:59, but it was his catch off a deflected Hail Mary pass on the final play of the game that sent Michigan State to one of its most memorable games ever.
Keshawn Martin, Michigan State – Martin scored two important touchdowns for the second consecutive week, and this from a guy who hadn't scored in the previous 12 games. This time, against previously unbeaten Wisconsin, the Spartan senior scored on the ground and through the air, in addition to racking up 90 total yards.
Montee Ball, Wisconsin – The Badger back continued his torrid scoring pace, reaching the end zone two more times in Wisconsin's last-second loss at Michigan State. Ball, who has scored at least two touchdowns in all seven games for a total of 18 scores, amassed 139 yards, including his third consecutive 100-yard rushing game (115).
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